Our Thai women American strip clubs–revisiting them from Thailand

Our Thai women American strip clubs? Last month I brought myThai girlfriend to three American strip clubs,  the Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas’s gambling casinos.  Two friends of mine had just married Thai women. We had all traveled together in Thailand and celebrated each other’s birthdays in Pattaya’s bars for the last couple of years, and one of the two American men had even bought a condo up the street from me where his future wife stayed while the couple waited out her American visa. This being the first time we could all meet together on American soil, it was only fitting that we should celebrate our reunion in America’s strip clubs.

Being from Illinois and St. Louis where I had spent most of my life, the main center of my past strip club activities was in the St. Louis Metro East. This was in Illinois within a few miles of St. Louis on the Missouri side of the Mississippi. It was the East side St. Louisans had been going to for years for night club entertainment and bars that stayed open all night. Whatever adult entertainment existed on the Missouri closed down at 1 a.m. along with all the other St. Louis bars while the clubs just across the river stayed open until 4 a.m. during the week and 6 a.m. on weekends. For those who still couldn’t get enough drinking and partying in by 6 a.m. there were still other night clubs open until 8 a.m. where a lot of the strippers and employees of the topless clubs would hang out after their clubs closed.

In all my years writing for adult magazines and shooting pictures of adult entertainers I had never encountered anything quite like the St. Louis Metro East night clubs, but I had heard the clubs were now only a shadow of what they used to be and that most of the strippers had gotten butt ugly. It was time to find out. In the meantime I had reasoned that the strip clubs would reflect what had happened to American women in recent years.

Fast food, addiction to the internet and an unwillingness to exercise had spawned a new breed of American with men now averaging thirty pounds heavier than the typical World War II soldier and women taking on 35 % more pork than those American women I had gone to college with in the 60’s. Lardy lardy, oncLe I brought my Thai girlfriend to the United States we’d discover that nine out of ten women were overweight.

So what do I really mean by overweight?  According to 2010 statistics I’ve skimmed off the Internet, the average American woman is slightly less than five foot four, and yet she averages 76 kilograms.  That’s a jelly flopping 167 pounds while my over the hill 67 year old body weighs in at 165 pounds, and I’m a good seven inches taller at five foot eleven.  Tom’s wife, Nok, my girfriend, and the third Thai woman who’d be meeting us later on in Las Vegas weigh only half as much as what the average American woman has  become.

 

Nok and Big Tom took a room just down the hall from us after driving 240 miles from their Missouri home to join us at the St. Louis Metro East motel we were now staying at. Although we both had cars, Tom and I had already decided not to risk getting DWI’s here in the land of the American Gestapo so we split the cab fare and set off to what used to be two of the Metro East’s top strip clubs.

I used to get into these clubs free, back when I was writing for Xtreme Magazine and the clubs’ management viewed me as someone who could get their organization a lot of positive publicity, but times had changed. I had not been in either place for ten years since moving to Thailand. So we paid our cover charges which came out to fifteen dollars each, amounting to $30.00 for Tom and $30.00 for me since we had brought our Thai women along who were immediately asked to produce their ID’s. We were then escorted to a table from which we could watch each dancer take her turn on the stage. I felt right at home. The overall atmosphere of the club was as friendly as it ever had been so I spent my first fifteen minutes talking to the club’s bartenders and doormen about the club’s managers and my favorite bartender, Larry, who had retired a few months before. Then I rejoined Tom and our two Thai women. By this time I had ordered a Bud Lite, which turned out to be on special for $6.50 while Tom wound up having to pay for a Budweiser Heavy for $8.50.

But the club was not the same as before. Nearly every stripper was fat, and by fat I don’t mean just a little on the heavy side. In the entire club only two dancers resembled the strippers of ten years ago. One of the girls, the far prettier of the two came up to me and said, “I haven’t seen you in a long time” as she gave me a big hug.

“I have been living in Thailand for nine years now,” I replied and I haven’t been back here for ten years. Then I pointed at the two Thai women sitting with Tom. That’s, Duean, my girlfriend over there.  Nok, sitting next to her, just got married to Tom.”

“You always told me you liked Asian women,” the stripper replied.

Then she strode off as my mind started to race back in time to where I might have met her before. I would have invited her to our table for a drink, but I still hadn’t gotten my first beer as the service although friendly was slow.

“She says she knows me,” I told Tom. “She probably does. On the other hand, perhaps she’s just angling for us to buy her drinks.”

It was like watching a bunch of cows lumbering around. Good God, how much the club’s stable had changed through the years. But so had America. As I suspected, the strip clubs would wind up reflecting how much the American female species had changed, and then the slender dancer who claimed to know me took her turn dancing on a stage directly in front of us. But only after the D.J. announced her by her stage name, “China Girl”.

Suddenly I remembered her. She had been the prettiest girl at Club 64 in East St. Louis, which had become my favorite drinking bar during my last two years living in the states. I had done a lot of photography of the girls working at Club 64. The club’s owners would have their makeup and hair done for a couple of hours before I’d shoot their pictures. I then enlarged the best pictures, those that had been picked by the club owner’s wife, to poster size which the owner and his wife had mounted on the front of the club facing the highway that could be viewed by motorists from a quarter of a mile away. The frames were even back lighted. It had been a terrific idea, and since Club 64 was on the main road leading to three other strip clubs those poster sized pictures played a big part in getting men to stop at Club 64 before hitting the other clubs. Club 64 was also charging just $3.00 a beer while the other clubs were charging $5.50.

When I mention the “owners of Club 64″, I mean the owner and his wife, Sherry. Both were brilliant. It was Sherry and Frank who agreed to my bringing a white tiger club into Club 64 when probably no other club in the Metro East would have had the balls to allow it, and with very good reason. Because if the Tiger club had bitten or clawed a customer, the club would have been sued. But Sherry and Frank were gamblers who played by their own rules. The husband wife team was hard working and neither stood for much nonsense. They also knew that forty pound white tiger cubs were really only pussy cats, and the white tiger I managed to get into the club got to be a very popular with the girls who took turns feeding it milk from a baby bottle.

Of course China Girl would have remembered me. I never forgot her either. She had claimed to be of mixed blood. I remember her telling me she was part Japanese. I don’t remember the other parts however. I’m thinking black however. But whatever her genetic makeup she was the most beautiful girl at Club 64, and because of it she had always gotten a lot of attention from the club’s customers. Which left little time for me because by the time we’d be having a drink together a customer willing to pay her big money would come in and I’d be left drinking with other girls or simply chatting with the bartender.

I had nothing but great times in the United States in those days. Better times than any man in his fifties had a right to be. My companions were more often women than male and the girls were usually in their twenties. They had fun loving personalities and back then their bodies were tight and trim. But times had changed. The average American woman although seven inches shorter than me, now outweighed me by several pounds.

We walked across the parking lot to the second club. The fifteen dollar cover charge we had paid was good in all the St. Louis Metro East Clubs belonging to the same organization so one could hit five clubs on a single cover charge. But of the five, this second club, was the organization’s show piece. Ten years ago the best looking women in all the area’s strip clubs were working there and dinners in the club’s restaurant rivaled the best restaurants the St. Louis area had to offer. But in those days I had preferred the sister club next door. For one thing one night a week the sister club had dollar beers, and back in those days strip clubs were the same as pubs and neighborhood bars to me.

In my last years living in the U.S. I never bothered to go to regular bars anymore. They bored me. And I sure knew where to go and when in the St. Louis Metro East Strip Clubs all of which were no more than fifteen minutes from my apartment. I could go to one club for its Monday night dollar beers and never have to pay a cover charge. On Wednesday nights one of its sister clubs had two dollar drink nights when I could get beer, whiskey or vodka for just two bucks, and then there was Club 64 where I could drink beers all night long for just $3.00 a bottle. Why would I want to go anywhere else? Back in those days I was writing two articles a month for adult magazines and there were a lot of strippers who wanted the publicity of being in a magazine. So I was used to getting a lot of attention in the U.S.

Looking back on it I was even having more fun in the U.S. than I’m presently having in Thailand. The difference is here in Thailand you always have to pay for women, and most Thai women measure you by how much money you have and how much you are willing to give them. But in the U.S. I was being measured by all those strippers on how good an article I could write about them in a magazine, how good of pictures I could take of them, or how much fun I was to be with. And since most men couldn’t get the pictures I could get or write like I could, I’d rank pretty high up on the yardstick even though I was getting up into my fifties when most men were already being viewed as old codgers.

But before I managed to even get down my first beer in this second club I was being jolted back to reality. And it wasn’t because I was no longer in my fifties but well into my sixties. The whole country had turned into a land of porkies in the last ten years. And I had not really changed very much. I felt like Gulliver must have felt (in Gullivers Travels). For those who have read this three hundred year old work by Jonathon Swift, in the first part of the book, Gulliver winds up being a giant in the land of the Lilliputians. Now I felt like Swift’s character would have felt upon finding himself in a land of giants while visiting Brobdingnag. Nearly every stripper in this club was huge so there was no change from the first club. The strippers were friendly enough, however, with several of them stopping at our table to chat with us. They would have anyway, because just as it would have been in Thailand, the girls would be wanting us to buy them drinks. But several of them were especially taken by the two Thai women, and I knew all too well that a large percentage of American strippers were either bisexual or lesbians.

A week later, Tom and Nok would fly out to Las Vegas to be with us once again. My girlfriend and I had flown instead to Denver where we had rented a car so I could show off some of the best scenery America had to offer. Another friend of ours also flew to Las Vegas to join us. Like Tom he had also married a Thai woman who was also a friend of both my girlfriend and Nok. We all decided to go to at least one Las Vegas strip club.

From his room at the Luxor, Tom got on his smart phone and started to look up Las Vegas Strip Clubs. The first club we looked into was Hustler, but the beers there would be fifteen dollars each, and the reviews of the place were not all that good. I wanted to go to Cheetah’s. For one thing part of the movie, “Showgirls” had been filmed there so Cheetahs had captured my interest long before I actually got into the place to experience it first hand. The first time I went into Cheetahs I had gone in with a small group who were attending the Exotic Dancer’s annual convention with me. We had spent perhaps an hour there, and then, I think it was the next year, I had gone into Cheetah’s with one of the guys from the convention and we had both spent the entire night there drinking and cavorting with two of the club’s strippers in the VIP room. We had left the darkness of the club in broad daylight the next morning with the bright Nevada sun practically blinding us as we walked outside.

Cheetah’s would have a taxi pick us up at the Luxor but we’d have to pay the driver $30.00 and we’d still have to get another taxi to take us back to the Luxor. Which we willingly paid. The drive took much longer than I thought or that I ever remembered. Cheetah’s was most certainly not downtown or anywhere near downtown and now that I think about it, none of the other Las Vegas clubs that I’d visited were either. Which I find rather typical of America’s mindset. It’s okay to gamble away money that you can’t afford to lose, but it’s not okay to go to strip clubs to look at naked women. Unfortunately what we found at Cheetahs was about the same as we found in the two St. Louis Metro East Clubs. All the strippers were horrendously fat except for one. This single exception was of Afro American descent. She never came to our table so I only saw her from a distance but she had a nice slender sexy body, but from what I could detect her face was all angles giving her a rather harsh appearance. Several of the other girls would stop by our table to ask us where we had all come from and whether we were enjoying our evening or not. The overall friendliness of Cheetah’s was just what I had remembered from the past. But the women had changed just as much as American women outside the clubs had changed. America had become a land of fat, lardy people. Especially the women.

We had to take another taxi back to the hotel but this one cost us fifty dollars. Instead we could have gone to Club Sapphires where there would have been a two drink minimum at fifteen dollars each. We declined after deciding to cut our losses and went back to the Luxor to have our last drinks there. Perhaps Sapphires, where I had once shot a lot of pictures of the Pure Talent Feature entertainers giving a special performance there would have us a better stable of dancers to oogle, but why take the chance? We had already sampled three clubs, two in the Saint Louis Metro East and one at Las Vegas, and I had seen enough to decide that American women would never be the same again. My girlfriend and I would continue on to the Grand Canyon, to the Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde and into the mountains of Southwestern Colorado, then back to Denver from Grand Junction through Glenwood Canyon, in search of a different kind of scenery.

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